Times have changed. The phrase, “Sharing is caring” has materialised into a social and economic reality. The advent of sharing economy has disrupted the older paradigm of business and flagged off a new and efficient way of consumerism that suits the sensibilities of the urbanised millennials of today.
Let us reiterate what “sharing economy” really means. It is an economic strategy which urges participants to rent or share goods and services like cars, homes, furniture, personal time, etc. to other individuals in a peer to peer fashion.
The strategy usually makes use of app-based technology. Examples are Uber, Airbnb, Dogvacay, Justpark, etc. It is a longshot from the traditional models of corporations hiring employees and selling products to consumers.
Given below are the 10 best things about sharing economy.
INDUCES PRUDENCE: It ensures judicious use of resources
As the urban population grows so does the scarcity of resources. Therefore, the exercise of judiciousness is the need of the hour. Sharing economy can play a vital role in moulding such a lifestyle.
As more and more products and services are shared, more is the optimal utilization of resources.
This would help create a more sustainable future in the long run.
ENHANCES TRUST: Strengthens trust in the community.
In app-based sharing models, through the help of rating systems and reviews from previous users, consumers get to avail assets from reliable peers. This was not possible in traditional models.
This would help promote trust in the community in the long run.
IMPROVES SAVINGS: Leaves scope for more savings
Through the use of app-based sharing models, people find it more economical to rent assets for optimal usage rather than buying the same and risk underusage.
This kind of lifestyle enables consumers to improve their savings.
REDUCES STRESS: Reduces mental stress due to low ownership
Since this strategy encourages rentals, it lowers the ownership of assets for the user. This provides a relief from underutilization of the assets.
This also enables users to live a simpler, more hassle-free life.
ENABLES FLEXIBILITY: Provides for greater mobility and flexibility
This is another great benefit of sharing economy. If one goes for a vacation for some time, he can easily rent a car and a house there.
If he needs someone to look after his pet, he hires a person who is willing to share his personal time and services.
This is often done through app-based initiatives.
EASY FUNDING: Availability of easier funding opportunities
In the times of traditional economic models, getting funds for start-ups was tough. Banks, financers or investors seldom used to take risks on small businesses.
But now thanks to various crowdfunding platforms, it’s easier to gather funds for sharing economy-based start-ups, as more and more people understand the benefits of it.
ENHANCES TRANSPARENCY: Through apps, transparency is enhanced
With the advent of advanced user interface designs on smart phone screens, peers can share a lot of information and pictures of the concerned assets.
These are complimented with measures to authenticate the identity of users by the app developers. There are also rating systems and provisions for user reviews on the apps for every asset owner as well as seeker.
These measures enhance user experience and transparency.
INCREASES JOBS: Augments employment opportunities
As the ideology of sharing economy catches pace, more and more entrepreneurs look for voids in the markets. They sniff out unfulfilled demands for particular assets and then provide app-based platforms to provide opportunities to people to place such assets for hire.
People avail such apps to place their cars, houses, spaces, furniture, assets, skills, time and services in the rental markets for hire.
Thus, a healthy and sustainable economic ecosystem comes into existence.
ONE-TOUCH SOLUTIONS: Through apps
Apps have made our lives easier than we could have ever imagined. With just a single touch on our smart phones, our demands are fulfilled.
Sharing economy, with the help of such ergonomically designed apps, has the potential to revolutionise the world markets of the future.
REPLICATES HUMAN CONDITION: Possession is a myth;
Lastly, it can be said, from the perspective of the human condition that nothing in the universe can be possessed by anyone. Even our own bodies are not possessed by us.
If they were, every part of our body would be under our control, say for instance the heart, the lungs and the neurological and digestive functions, but they are not; they function irrespective of our will.
It is common understanding that whatever we can call our own or possess must fall under the ambit of our control. Yet, whatever we own, irrespective of whether we like or not, ends, decays and perishes eventually.
A person who holds the notion of possession, often develops an attachment to his possessions. This gives rise to the possibility of suffering in his life, whenever there is a separation between him and his possession.
Therefore, the only sensible way to live is to consider nothing as our own and everything as rented artefacts that would eventually have to be returned to the respective owners. Thus, leaving no scope for attachment and the subsequent suffering.
Sharing economy is an Ideology which replicates this understanding, making it the wisest of all economic ideas to date.